WSU Writing Program ranked among top in U.S.

By Beverly Makhani, Undergraduate Education

writing-program-80PULLMAN, Wash. – The Writing Program at Washington State University is ranked among the best “writing in the disciplines” programs in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges 2016” released today.

The program has been on the ranking’s list of “Academic Programs to Look For” for more than a decade. WSU is the only institution from the Northwest.

Students and tutors work together in the WSU Writing Program.

“We have established a tradition of excellence across a variety of services that we offer,” said Victor Villanueva, WSU Regents professor and writing director. “We recognize and are always responsive to the changing needs of writers and of the professors who evaluate the work. That’s why other universities follow our lead and adapt our pedagogies for their own programs.”

A stellar example

In spring 2015, college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools were asked by U.S. News & World Report to nominate up to 10 institutions with “stellar examples of writing in the disciplines.”

“It is an honor that nominators endorse the Writing Program for its impact on our students’ written communications,” said Mary F. Wack, WSU vice provost for undergraduate education.

Students and tutors work together in the WSU Writing Program.

Eighteen others share the top writing category with WSU, including Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, George Mason and Duke universities, Bard and Kenyon colleges and the University of California-Davis.

“These colleges typically make the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum,” the magazine reported. “Students are encouraged to produce and refine various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines.”

Critical literacy and communication

In its 29th year, the Writing Program remains WSU’s central unit dedicated to promoting critical literacy and helping students and faculty communicate better. With the All-University Writing Committee, the program works with faculty to develop and review over 400 writing-intensive courses. The program manages the writing portfolio requirement for juniors, is the center for writing assessments and provides thousands of hours of writing counseling to undergraduate and graduate students yearly.

The program collaborates with colleges and units on intensive writing projects, guest expert lectures and new services for first-generation and multilingual students. For more information, visit


Victor Villanueva, WSU Writing Program, 509-335-2680,
Mary F. Wack, WSU Undergraduate Education, 509-335-8044,